Science building at USF evacuated after complaints about dizziness

Tampa Fire Rescue said there was no gas leak; the symptoms likely were heat related.
Three people complained of dizziness Wednesday at the University of South Florida’s Interdisciplinary Sciences building in Tampa. [Times (2017)]
Three people complained of dizziness Wednesday at the University of South Florida’s Interdisciplinary Sciences building in Tampa. [Times (2017)]
Published June 26
Updated June 26

TAMPA — Tampa Fire Rescue evacuated the Interdisciplinary Sciences building at the University of South Florida on Wednesday after a sudden spate of medical complaints, later determined to be heat-related. Authorities suspected a trend after three people in the building called 911 complaining of dizziness within a 30-minute period Wednesday afternoon, Tampa Fire Spokesman Jason Penny said. Eight people eventually complained of dizziness and one was transported to the hospital.

The hazardous materials unit was dispatched to check meters. They found no gas leak or air quality issues and the symptoms now are thought to be heat related.

“Tests of the building came up negative but all patients said they had just come inside,” Penny said.

Temperatures in the Tampa Bay area were expected to hit 96 degrees to 99 degrees Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The building had reopened by 2:20 p.m.

The seven-story Interdisciplinary Sciences building, opened in July 2011, houses the departments of Physics, Chemistry and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology.The second of USF’s two summer sessions opened Monday.

Contact Kavitha Surana at ksurana@tampabay.com or 727-93-8149. Follow @ksurana6.

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